Thursday, July 22, 2010
Dr. Richard Beckford, associate professor of music and director of choirs at SC State University, recently presented an organ recital for St. Luke’s Church in Kingston, Jamaica. The recital was presented on Sunday, July 18, 2010 in commemoration of the 135th anniversary of the founding of St. Luke, and the 30th anniversary of the consecration of the church building.
Beckford, who has played at St Luke's Church on numerous occasions, is a highly renowned concert organist in Jamaica. Serving as a choral director, recital organist, piano accompanist and choral clinician, Beckford has also given numerous concerts in Nassau, Belgium, the United States, Europe and Jamaica, and has been adviser to different arts councils.
His performances include appearances at the St John's 'Smiths Square' and the Purcell Room of the Southbank complex in London, England. He has also had television appearances on the British Broadcasting Corporation program, “Songs of Praise.”
Beckford has received the George Goode Memorial Scholarship, the Margaret and Sydney Lovett organ prize, the Christian Carpenter accompaniment prize and the Dominion Fellowship Trust Gift for Excellence. He was also elected to the Pi Kappa Lambda honors society, an American society for undergraduate and graduate students and professors of music. More recently in Jamaica, Beckford was recognized by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music for his contribution to music and music education on the occasion of the centenary of the board in Jamaica.
Beckford was the 1983 Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music West Indies scholar, and is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, from which he holds an honors degree and a double major in piano and organ. He also holds graduate degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi and Louisiana State University.